Ease of Use
We give a quick review of Bonsai looking at features, pricing, and ease of use.
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What is Bonsai?
Started in 2015 in San Francisco, Bonsai is an online suite of tools that help freelancers run their businesses more efficiently. From invoicing and tax preparation to proposals and contracts, Bonsai covers the main areas of freelance business admin.
Who Can Use Bonsai?
The platform is designed for freelancers who work in all kinds of industries. Whether you are a self-employed writer, graphic designer, creator, or anything else, Bonsai could be a strong option for you.
How Does Bonsai Work?
Using Bonsai is easy. Follow these 4 simple steps:
- Visit the main Bonsai homepage
- Click on the Start Free button on the top-right of the home page.
- Fill out your details and click Create Free Account.
- Add payment details (don’t worry you won’t be charged).
- That’s it! you will then get the first 14 days for free.
Do you already have an account? Then, just click on Log in, type in your details, and you will be instantly directed to your personal dashboard.
Bonsai is divided into three main categories: Bonsai Tax, Bonsai Cash, and Bonsai Workflow.
As you might expect, the first two are all about managing taxes, earnings, and payments. But the real hero is Bonsai Workflow.
This is the core of the entire platform, and it features eight different sub-sections:
- Client CRM
- Forms & Automation
- Time Tracking
- Task Tracking
One of the best features of Bonsai is its invoicing and payments tool. With Bonsai, you can generate invoices automatically based on the proposals or contracts that you have created within the platform.
In just a few seconds, you can go from proposal to contract to invoice, which is very cool. But what’s even cooler is that you get a notification when a client views your invoice. And do you want to hear something even better? Clients can also tell you when they are going to pay you!
Clients can pay via PayPal, credit card, ACH and even Bitcoin. But what happens if a client doesn’t pay you, or if there are any delays? No worries, Bonsai chases them up for you.
This is one of the platform’s most interesting sections, as it helps you create custom proposals for your clients. After uploading all the standard proposal details, you can add your brand logo and images, and send your proposal off to your client.
Once your client has viewed the document, Bonsai notifies you, which is pretty handy. Even better, your client can approve your proposal directly within the Bonsai app, literally at the touch of a button.
In this section, you will find pre-verified legal templates for different types of contracts. This means that you won’t need to speak with an advisor, as the platform handles all the legal stuff for you.
The website is super user-friendly and intuitive, making this section very easy and pleasant to use. So when you need to create a contract, simply input all the information and hey, presto! Bonsai will output a perfectly well-written contract ready for use.
Need to track your hours? The Bonsai platform – and mobile app – lets you do that in a very easy way. Either track your time with just one click or input the hours by hand.
This category is a cause of confusion for many Bonsai users because it sounds like a project management feature, but it actually isn’t. In fact, the Task Tracking tool is more about time-tracking than real project management.
Once you click on a project, the dashboard tells you how much time you spent on it and how much you have charged for it. In addition to this, it offers review notes and other nice features, but it’s not able to support the management of multiple projects.
If you want to track your expenses in a simple way, then Bonsai is a good choice. The platform can connect with most banks and help you to stay on top of your outgoings.
However, there is one downside: it doesn’t feature a receipt scanner. While this might not sound like a big deal, it can be a very helpful feature if you use paper receipts to manually check your expenses.
Do you have any regular clients that you bill every month? Then, you are going to love this next feature. Simply change your invoice settings from One-time payment to Recurring, or even Recurring with auto-pay.
Then, the Bonsai platform will send your client their monthly invoice automatically. Plus, if you have selected Auto-pay, you will also get your money straight away.
How Much Does Bonsai Cost?
Bonsai offers two easy pricing options: Bonsai Workflow and Bonsai Workflow Plus. Both plans are available as monthly and annual subscriptions:
Also if you want to try out the platform before buying a subscription, you can take advantage of Bonsai’s free trial. This enables users to check out the Workflow plan for free (you need a credit card to sign up for the trial but won’t be charged).
Want to find out what is included in each plan? take a look at the table below:
|Unlimited clients and projects||✔||✔||✔|
|Invoicing & Payments||✔||✔||✔|
|Proposals & Contracts||✔||✔||✔|
|Tasks & Time Tracking||✔||✔||✔|
|Forms & Questionnaires||✔||✔|
|Hiring Agreement Templates||✔|
|Connect Multiple Bank Accounts||✔|
|Up to 5 Project Collaborators||Up to 15 Project Collaborators||Unlimited Project Collaborators|
Bonsai Review: Worth it or Not?
In short, Yes! Bonsai is a solid platform for freelancers looking to run their business easily and efficiently. It features some great tools that automate important areas of freelance businesses, such as invoices and contracts.
It might not be the best option for larger businesses that manage multiple projects at once. But if you are self-employed and have a tight budget, then Bonsai is the perfect solution. 👌